Alonso prepared to be patient for McLaren success
Fernando Alonso says he's prepared to wait for success, knowing that McLaren and Honda both have a huge learning curve ahead of them.
The Spaniard has joined the new McLaren-Honda partnership seeking a championship following a disappointing campaign at Ferrari. However, he understands that wins and certainly titles, won't come quickly.
"I've been working hard in preparation for this new era of McLaren-Honda," he said. "I've never felt better, or more ready for a new season.
"Of course, we're prepared for a steep learning curve, but it's clear to see that inside McLaren-Honda there's total commitment, and a real change in feeling, as we start this new partnership. We're all focused on the challenge ahead, and I feel extremely honoured to be part of a relationship that has shared so much history together.
"My aim is to help write a new chapter in the history of McLaren-Honda. We understand the effort and teamwork required to take McLaren-Honda back to where it should be, at the front of the grid, and all our energy as a team is focused on that goal."
Alonso says he's honoured to be first behind the wheel, but is also wary that his running will likely be limited due to the technical issues which may arise in Jerez.
"Our first target will be to learn the maximum from the car at the pre-season tests, understand the package, and extract as much performance as possible," he explained. "That won't be easy or trouble-free, but we're ready for that. Why? Because our key focus will be on development. Historically, McLaren has already been characterised by its ability to bring updates to the car quickly, and develop a strong package.
"It's going to be a real privilege to be the first person to drive the new McLaren-Honda MP4-30 at Jerez, and I can't wait to begin what I'm certain will be a very exciting new chapter in my career.
"I'm as motivated now as I was when I was given my first opportunity at the wheel of an F1 car."